Within weeks after Dee Morell received a tainted shot to treat arthritis in her left hip in September last year, she knew something was horribly wrong.
The 49-year-old X-ray technician started to feel worse, not better. Walking grew difficult, she needed constant painkillers, and for the past 10 months she has been too weak to work, making it a struggle to pay the mortgage.
But a year after federal investigators traced a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak to contaminated steroids made by a Massachusetts pharmacy, Morell and hundreds of others who received the drugs are still waiting to find out how much compensation they will collect and when they will receive the money.
“Everything about this is frustrating,” said Morell, who was diagnosed with a hip infection. “It would be of great help if the money was released immediately. I wouldn’t have to worry about losing my home.”
One of the biggest cases of drug contamination in recent American history has sparked a long and complicated legal case to win relief for victims. The Framingham pharmacy that made the drugs, New England Compounding Center, surrendered its license Oct. 3 last year and soon afterward filed for bankruptcy following a deluge of lawsuits, raising questions of when and how victims will ultimately be paid.
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